Dorian Nakamoto lawyers up, denies Newsweek allegations

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“I have no knowledge of nor have I ever worked on cryptography, peer-to-peer systems, or alternative currencies,” Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto said.

The reclusive man Newsweek claims is the cryptography genius who created Bitcoin has doubled down on his denial, hiring a lawyer and issuing a statement that he doesn’t even have Internet access.

“I did not create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin. I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report,” Dorian Satoshi said, according to a statement obtained and tweeted by Reuters reporter Felix Salmon. Lawyer Ethan Kirschner confirmed the statement to the Daily Dot, as well as the fact that he’s representing Satoshi, but refused to comment on what his actual capacity would be.

“I have no knowledge of nor have I ever worked on cryptography, peer to peer systems, or alternative currencies,” Nakomoto added bluntly.

The statement also reiterates a few other things we’ve known about Nakamoto: He’s recovering from a recent stroke, he’s caring for his 93-year-old-mother, and he’s a former engineer with some programming experience. He also points out that in the interview he gave with the AP on the day Newsweek’s story published, he referred to Bitcoin as “bitcom.”

Nakamoto said this would be his final public statement on the matter, and asked the world to leave him alone. And he clearly means business when it comes to respecting his privacy: The opening scene to Newsweek’s story involves Satoshi calling the cops on reporter Leah McGrath Goodman, and a police report obtained by Cryptome says he also called cops on later reporters who showed up at his house with cameras.

Nakamoto added that he’s been living under “severe financial distress,” which led to him cancel his Internet service in 2013.

That should soon change. A fundraiser by the Bitcoin community, due to be completed at the end of March, has so far raised 45.22 BTC ($28,039) for Nakamoto.

Photo by Associated Press. Remix by Fernando Alfonso III

Kevin Collier

Kevin Collier

A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.